“When it comes to diet, weight gain and diabetes, it’s not just what we eat—but when we eat.”
Satchidananda Panda, a researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.
Panda and his team had mice engage in what’s called time-restricted-feeding. That is, the mice consumed all their daily calories in an eight-to-12-hour window. And they wound up with markers for health that were better than those of mice free to eat whenever they wanted. For example, time-restricted-feeding reduced whole body fat, inflammation and insulin resistance and improved the mice’s glucose tolerance.
“We were surprised to find that the benefits of time restriction persist even if the mice take the weekends off.” So binging on Saturday and Sunday did not wipe out the positive effects. The study is in the journal Cell Metabolism. [Amandine Chaix et al, Time-Restricted Feeding Is a Preventative and Therapeutic Intervention against Diverse Nutritional Challenges]
“What is very exciting about this is that it’s much easier to adopt than most of the lifestyle modifications that people are recommended in doctors’ offices every day.”
Gastroenterologist Amir Zarrinpar, one of the study’s authors.
“So with this type of therapy you don’t really have to calorie count. What really this works on is your own biology and letting your body use its own evolutionary-developed metabolic pathways to shuttle energy appropriately.”
“These findings are very exciting, but they’re in mice. We need to do further experiments to make sure that they also lead to therapies in humans.”
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]
[Audio of Panda and Zarrinpar supplied by Salk Institute for Biological Studies.]